Stop the Blame Game

Something that has been coming up a lot in couples therapy is taking responsibility for one’s own emotions and learning to not blame our partners. Instead, can we ask for what we need? Quiet expectations can turn to disappointment and resentment if our partners don’t know what we want and need from them. 

Healthy relationships are built on trust and communication, and support within partnerships can create deep intimacy and help us heal from adverse experiences. How can you and your partner support each other? This mutual support takes self-awareness, reflection, compassion, and patience. 

Emotional accountability and emotional responsibility are helpful tools. They’re used interchangeably sometimes, but they have slightly different meanings. 

Emotional accountability is focused on taking ownership of one’s emotions and how they impact others. According to Simplish: Taking responsibility for one’s own emotional reactions and responses and communicating them in a way that is respectful and constructive towards others. It involves recognizing and owning one’s emotions, being mindful of how they impact others, and taking steps to manage them in a healthy and productive manner.

Emotional responsibility is focused on managing one’s emotions to promote wellbeing for oneself and others. From Simplish: Managing and regulating one’s own emotions and not letting them negatively affect others. It involves taking proactive steps to manage one’s emotional wellbeing and to avoid causing harm or distress to others. 

Asking for what you desire is a great opportunity to use “I” statements that aren’t accusatory too. Example: “I feel loved when you give me meaningful cards on holidays.” It’s also important to be open to your partner expressing needs as well. Both parties should feel safe to express their needs without being met with condescension or defensiveness – and both parties should feel loved, heard, and supported!